The FBHVC monthly report

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The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs represents our interests nationally, fighting for those who enjoy using their Classic Cars.

Robin Astle, our Club's FBHVC representative gives a monthly report on what's going on.

Robin Astle

December 2019

by Robin Astle.

From FBHVC Newsletter 2019 No. 5

Firstly, a note of explanation on the subject of tyres where there have been reports on a proposal to ban tyres which are more than 10 years old. The Federation has put a lot of effort over the last few months into opposing this ban. However, it only relates to commercial and passenger service vehicles and not to private cars such as our Healeys which is why I have not been reporting on it in these pages.

Legislation & Fuels by Bob Owen

Environmental Issues

Up until recently, the historic vehicle movement has felt it could rely on the public to be generally supportive of what we do, on the basis of nostalgia and recognition of our cultural, heritage and historic value. In a time when awareness of both climate change and the effects of air pollution on health is growing rapidly, and when criticising the activities of anyone whose lifestyle is not shared is becoming generally more accepted, we really cannot rely on this continuing.

We are becoming aware of a tendency, not yet general but certainly growing, for us to have to make our case more strongly. This attitude is being reflected in the reactions of some of the people actually dealing with the matters of concern, on occasions with greater emphasis then even climate change campaigners. We need to recognise this change, respect the reasons for it, and be sure we justify our activities with politeness and care.

We have quite recently had occasion to comment on a few new Clear Air or Low Emission Zones.

City of Leeds

We have some good news here. When Leeds published its Order to permit the commencement of a Zone, they accepted the arguments of the “heritage” bus operators that their heritage value should be recognised and that their activities could not contribute significantly to overall pollution and created a suitable exemption for them.

City of Sheffield

In our response to the Sheffield survey we asked that they consider taking the same approach to exemptions as has Leeds.

City of Edinburgh

We submitted a response dealing with the issues I raised in the previous edition of FBHVC News. We await the outcome.

City of Birmingham

We should note, though the Federation is providing only indirect support, that as yet Birmingham has not agreed to exempt “heritage” bus operation. This is a real issue as The Transport Museum, Wythall has run a bus service to its premises on public open days, thus encouraging visitors not to use their cars. In this case the lack of sympathy from officers is marked. The Federation will keep a watching brief.

London ULEZ

We are aware of a number of problems with the issue of some erroneous PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices) but we have not heard of any exempted historic vehicles being affected. If anyone knows otherwise do please let the Federation know.

Finally, on LEZs, I should mention that we have heard no more about the delay I mentioned in the last Edition to their introduction of resulting from problems with the development of the “Checker” software upon which they depend.

Roadworthiness Testing

Generally, things seem to have settled down on roadworthiness testing. Most people have established to their own satisfaction that their vehicles qualify as VHIs and, if they do, have decided whether and if so how frequently they will submit their vehicles to voluntary MOTs.

There seems to be only one outstanding matter. As yet we have not been advised that the software fix which will permit the making of an online declaration to DVLA of being a VHI at the time of annual licensing by the keepers of pre-1960 vehicles has been made. But, as I mentioned, while it is concerning not to be able to do what the Guidance says you must, it is not of any legal significance.

DVLA by Ian Edmunds

Unfortunately, I am not able to report any significant progress on the various topics outlined in my last report, to the extent that the Federation felt it necessary to issue a statement covering the major points. This has appeared on the website and is repeated in this Federation News.

At this stage I have no updates to that statement and can only emphasise that our efforts to understand these problems from the DVLA aspect and to find acceptable resolutions continue. It is not useful to share every step of the process but obviously any outcomes will be reported in the earliest available Federation News.

I can pass on the encouraging news that the owner of another of the vehicles registered on a Q plate and mentioned in the last edition has now reported a successful reregistration with an age-related number.

Many of you probably already know, and he has made it clear in his article in this Federation News, Bob is standing down from the role of Legislation Director at the AGM on October 12th. I would like to formally record my thanks for his help and support and to say I have enjoyed working with him. I just wonder what he is going to do with all his spare time.

Historic Vehicle Registration Difficulties

FBHVC has maintained a good working relationship with DVLA for around 30 years and has contributed to the setting up of the V765 scheme for the reissue of ‘lost’ registrations and the related arrangements for issuing age-related registrations. During that period a number of issues and difficulties have inevitably arisen and it has been possible to discuss them with DVLA and in many cases mutually satisfactory solutions have been found.

Regrettably that situation cannot be said to exist at present. The DVLA attitude towards vehicles, or registration applications, that don’t conform to the normal format has hardened and the majority of historic vehicles fall into this category. The Federation believes this change is due to a fundamentally praiseworthy drive for greater efficiency rather than overt hostility to historic vehicles. FBHVC will continue to make every effort to address these issues drawing on all the support at their disposal, particularly that of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group.

Meanwhile we must draw the attention of the historic vehicle community to a few specific areas of difficulty –

  • First registration applications for vehicles originally supplied in CKD form will be rejected unless evidence can be supplied of the date of final assembly or first registration in the original destination country.
  • First registration applications relying on a manufacture date stamped directly on the vehicle, or on a plate attached to the vehicle, even when supported by a dating statement from a relevant club are likely to be rejected.
  • Satisfactory first registration applications even in a proven format may be rejected at the first attempt. Resubmission will often be successful.



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